June 23, 2024

Zay Jones’ future with the Jacksonville Jaguars was uncertain, with speculation even suggesting he could be part of a trade on draft night. However, when the draft concluded and Jones remained on the roster, many assumed he was staying put.

Surprisingly, just a few days later, Jones, along with kicker Joey Slye, was released on April 30, shortly after the NFL Draft concluded.

Jones was entering the final year of his three-year, $24 million contract with the Jaguars. During his two-year tenure with the team, he recorded 116 receptions for 1,144 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His standout performance came in 2022, where he achieved a career-high of 823 yards and contributed to the Jaguars’ advancement to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

However, injuries limited Jones’ production the following year, causing him to miss eight games and resulting in just 321 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The departure of Calvin Ridley in free agency further complicated matters for Jones and Jacksonville. Despite the acquisitions of Gabe Davis and Devin Duvernay, the Jaguars still lacked a clear No. 1 receiver. Consequently, their focus in the 2024 first round shifted to acquiring Trevor Lawrence’s primary target, which led to the selection of Brian Thomas Jr. and subsequently, Jones’ release.

Jaguars release wide receiver Zay Jones, kicker Joey Slye - Big Cat Country

With Christian Kirk now leading the Jaguars’ receiving corps alongside the new additions of Davis, Thomas, and Duvernay, Jones, entering his eighth season in the league, is in search of a new team. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have freed up $4.18 million in cap space while incurring $6.57 million in dead cap money.

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